March Madness Blog – Observations from Saturday’s night games

March Madness Blog – Observations from Saturday’s night games

Saturday was an upset free day as all of the higher seeds won their games. Tomorrow will feature seven double digit seeds in action, so maybe we will see some tomorrow.

After all the games today, Richard R. is still in first place in the Sports Spectrum bracket challenge.

#12 VCU vs. #4 Indiana SOUTH REGION

Final Score: 63-61 Indiana

Observations:

-The referees took an extraordinary amount of time to rule on the inadvertent elbow. If it takes that long to figure it out, you gotta just move on.

- Back to the elbow, I have a problem with unintentional contact being ruled a flagrant foul. I always thought that a flagrant foul was one made with intent. I don’t like the rule.

- VCU has no one to blame but themselves for the loss. Down the stretch they missed a three that would have put the lead to seven, Burgess missed two free throws that would have made it a two possession game, and they missed a wide open three in the final seconds that would have won the game.

Key Stats:

- VCU gave Indiana a lot of problems with the “Havoc” press, causing 22 Indiana turnovers.

- VCU probably got a little too three happy, taking 30 from behind the arc, while making just nine.

Funny Quote: Whoever was calling the play-by-play in this game said, It’s hard to score when you don’t shoot.” Very true.

Player of the Game: Cody Zeller. Zeller finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds and he scored a lot of his points in clutch moments.

Up next for Indiana: Kentucky

#8 Iowa State vs. #1 Kentucky SOUTH REGION

Final Score: 87-71 Kentucky

Observations:

- Kentucky just has overwhelming talent. If Anthony Davis doesn’t beat you, Marquis Teague will. If not Teague, Terrence Jones. Plus, Doron Lamb and Darius Miller are good from outside. Just too talented.

- Royce White had an outstanding game, once a Kentucky recruit, you know he really wanted to beat the Wildcats.

- Fred Hoiberg getting a technical foul in the second half was an act of desperation. Kentucky was riding an unstoppable wave of momentum at that point.

- Considering Bob Knight has refused to say Kentucky’s or John Calipari’s name on TV, only referring to UK as “that team from the SEC,” you would think he will be picking his old school, Indiana, to get the upset next week.

Key Stats:

-Three-point shooting was the big difference. Kentucky shot 10-20 (50 percent) and Iowa State shot just 3-22 (13 percent).

- Kentucky shot 55 percent overall.

Surprise Analyst:

- In the second half, we got an interview from actress and Kentucky super-fan Ashley Judd, who proceeded to give a breakdown of the game; and you know what, she knew her stuff! Sign her up, CBS!

Player of the Game: Marquis Teague. I almost want to give it to Royce White, who really filled up the stat sheet and helped Iowa State remain competitive for awhile, but Teague finished with 24 points, handed out seven assists and was a major reason for Kentucky’s victory.

Up next for Kentucky: Indiana (a rematch from December)

#3 Baylor vs. #11 Colorado SOUTH REGION

Final Score: 80-63 Baylor

Observations:

- This was a fun game to watch, going back and forth most of the way until about seven minutes to play. It was 61-60, with Baylor up one, but Colorado only scored three more points the rest of the way.

- Heslip was on fire, which happens after making three shots in a row, according to NBA Jam.

Key Stats:

-Nine threes from Brady Heslip, which accounted for all of his points.

Highlighters: Baylor’s uniforms are so bright they make you want to adjust your television set. I guess Baylor is trying to be like Oregon—have the most unique uniforms regardless of whether or not they look good.

Player of the Game: Brady Heslip. Is there any question? Heslip had a career night, and the Bears are in the Sweet Sixteen for just the second time in school history—both under current coach Scott Drew.

Up next for Baylor: Winner of Xavier vs. Lehigh

#4 Louisville vs. #5 New Mexico SOUTH REGION

Final Score: 59-56 Louisville

Observations:

- Despite dealing with an injury in the first half, Drew Gordon had a great game for New Mexico, scoring 21 points and pulling down 14 rebounds. He was the best player on the court tonight, it’s too bad he won’t be moving on.

- It wasn’t pretty for Louisville, but they managed to survive and will advance.

Key Stats: 

- Twenty-one percent from three for New Mexico and 46 percent from Louisville. If New Mexico makes just one more, we have our first overtime game of the tournament.

- Only eight free throw attempts for New Mexico.

Player of the Game: Drew Gordon. Gordon’s team may have lost, but he was the reason this was a game worth staying up to watch. Russ Smith was big from Louisville hitting some timely threes, but Gordon had the best game.

Up next for Louisville: Winner of Michigan State vs. Saint Louis